What Augmented Reality Means for Events

The Layar application for Android phones was yesterday released and gathered the attention of the most popular tech blogs.

Layar is the first application to add tangibility to a powerful concept: integrating Online and Offline.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality as suggested by Wikipedia:

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.
At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial markers recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators.

What does that mean for event professionals?

A number of things for sure. We mostly see the immediate application within conferences and exhibitions for networking purposes.

– Registering attendees with Face Recognition and associating online social profiles with their virtual badge sounds like a plan. We could soon experiment a live twitter where we can point our camera to an attendee and visualize balloons with thoughts from twitter.

– We could also think about associating a registered attendee with a particular networking/dating need and point the camera at the room to find our matching profile.

– Needless to mention the immediate benefits in terms of Health and Safety as well as logistics. Integrating the floorplan into the application would make it easy to find our way in a crowded exhibition.

– Sponsors at trade shows would be extremely happy if visitors could point their camera at the stand to download all the relevant info as well as reviews and opinions, or maybe special discounts.

– What about pointing the camera to a speaker during a session and be informed about books, shared online presentations and recorded sessions.

When should we expect that?

Sooner than you think.

The fact mobile applications are being rolled out to the market means that the trend could pick up soon.

6 years ago there was no Facebook.